The Daredevils travelled to the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai to take on the Rajasthan Royals this evening in the 500th match in Indian Premier League history. Unfortunately, if you were tuning in in hopes of seeing some beautiful cricket from the Daredevils, you were sadly disappointed. The match was filled with poor fielding and lackluster bowling from Delhi who to their credit did make it a much closer match in the end with their batting then it ought to have been.
The Royals came out batting first and immediately punished the Daredevils bowlers. Ajinkya Rahane was in great form, racing to 50 off a huge six on his 36th ball. Karun Nair, who came on after the dismissal of captain Shane Watson who scored 21 runs, put together an excellent partnership with Rahane. Karun reached a half century off just 33 deliveries. The partnership eventually totaled 113 runs off 69 balls before Nair was dismissed on 61 with a strike rate of 160.5. Rahane remained at the crease and ended 91* after Rajastan’s twentieth over. The superb batting from Rajastan was further assisted by some very poor fielding from Delhi. A few dropped catches along with miscommunication and misjudged balls resulted in extra runs for the Royals who finished 189-2.
Getting to 190 was always going to be difficult for the Daredevils, requiring a run rate of 9.50 per over. Though they did put together a solid inning at the crease, it was never going to be enough for Delhi when the very disappointing season for Yuvraj Singh continued with his dismissal after 22 runs. The Royals bowlers continued to cut through the Daredevil lineup when they caught Angelo Mathews on just 16 runs and Kedar Jadhav on just his 7th delivery. The captain, JP Duminy, gave the Daredevils some hope with 6 boundaries but was caught by Kulkami after 56 runs off 39 balls. Tiwary put together an exciting inning reaching 28* from 14 balls, but the Daredevils came up 14 runs short of the Royals in the IPL’s 500th match.
This was certainly a step back for Delhi and a continuation of the team that cannot find a rhythm with only five matches to go. The poor bowling and fielding put the game in serious doubt before anyone even stepped to the crease for Delhi’s inning. The success of Imran Tahir in grabbing wickets this season will leave some fans wondering why he didn’t get the nod to play today. The Daredevils take on the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday and it seems safe to say at this point that fans ought to expect Gary Kirsten’s men to either bat great or bowl great, but certainly not both together. The inability of the Daredevils to put together a complete game continues to be the trademark of the season and was the theme of today’s historic match.